Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Des Sängers Habe
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA
Schlagt mein ganzes Glück in Splitter,
Nehmt mir alle Habe gleich,
Lasset mir nur meine Zither,
Und ich bleibe froh und reich.

Wenn des Grames Wolken ziehen,
Haucht sie Trost in meine Brust,
Und aus ihrem Golde blühen
Alle Blumen meiner Lust.

Will die Liebe nicht gewähren,
Freundschaft brechen ihre Pflicht,
Kann ich beide stolz entbehren,
Aber meine Zither nicht.

Reißet meines Lebens Sehne,
Wird sie mir ein Kissen sein,
Lullen mich die süßen Töne
In den letzten Schlummer ein.

In den Grund des Tannenhaines
Senkt mich leise dann hinab;
Und statt eines Leichensteines
Stellt die Zither auf mein Grab,

Daß ich, wenn zum stillen Reigen,
Aus des Todes dunklem Bann,
Mitternachts die Geister steigen,
Ihre Saiten rühren kann.1

View original text (without footnotes)

Note: Schubert received Schlechta's poem in handwritten form. Schlechta's poem was posthumously printed in a substantially revised version in Ephemeren, see below.

1 Repetition by Schubert:
Daß ich, wenn aus des Todes Bann
Mitternachts die Geister steigen,
Ihre Saiten rühren kann.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Another version of this text exists in the database.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Els béns del joglar", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Het bezit van de zanger", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The minstrel's possession", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Les biens du chanteur", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "I beni del menestrello", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2017-11-02 04:51:39
Line count: 24
Word count: 119

The minstrel's possession
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Smash my entire happiness into pieces,
Take as well everything I own,
Only leave me my zither
And I shall remain blithe and rich.
When the clouds of sorrow pass over me,
It breathes comfort into my breast,
And from out of its gold
All the flowers of my joy bloom.
If love does not deign to look kindly upon me,
If friendship fails in its duty,
I can proudly do without either,
But not without my zither.
When the thread of my life is torn,
It shall be a pillow to me,
Its sweet sounds shall lull me
Into that final slumber.
In the depths of the fir-grove
Lower me gently down [into the earth] then;
And instead of a tombstone
Place the zither upon my grave,
So that, when at midnight the spirits
Rise from the dark spell of death
To their silent roundelay,
I can touch its strings. 1

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Repetition by Schubert:
So that, when from the dark spell of death
At midnight the spirits rise,
I can touch its strings.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 by Sharon Krebs, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


Text added to the website: 2017-02-02 00:00:00
Last modified: 2017-02-02 00:09:57
Line count: 24
Word count: 152